ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) – The University of Michigan announced Wednesday that it is getting a $50 million donation from a health care entrepreneur who turned to investing and philanthropy after selling the company he founded.
University business school alumnus Richard Rogel and his wife Susan are making the donation to support the medical school, Chinese studies and other activities at the Ann Arbor school.
Of the donation, $30 million will go to scholarships at the medical school, $10 million to students and programs at the Center for Chinese Studies in the liberal arts college and $10 million to other purposes, the university said.
Richard Rogel founded Preferred Provider Organization of Michigan in 1982, selling it in 1997.
Rogel, a 1970 graduate of what is now the Ross School of Business, said 99 percent of his philanthropy goes to the university.
“I have everything I want,” he told The Associated Press when asked why he decided to make such a large donation. “I have more fun than anyone I know.”
With the new gift, the couple has donated a total of $76 million to the university. In 2000, they created a $22 million scholarship fund for out-of-state students, about 500 of whom have been helped so far.
Richard Rogel also will serve as vice chair for the university’s Victors for Michigan campaign, which has a goal of $1 billion for student support and scholarships. He will lead efforts at raising money for the school’s health system.
“Rich and his wife Susan share our commitment to making it possible for extraordinary students to immerse themselves in their studies and research, and prepare for high-impact careers, without regard to cost or future debt,” said university President Mary Sue Coleman. “On the eve of our campaign launch, the Rogels once again are demonstrating outstanding leadership with this new support for U-M students and global impact.”
Richard Rogel, a New Jersey native, said he is particularly interested in fostering stronger ties between the U.S. and China, whose two peoples have a natural affinity whatever their governmental relations may be.
“It’s a unique kind of relationship,” he said, describing the affection he has encountered as an American visitor to China. “It’s a love affair between the peoples.”
The gift for the Chinese Studies Center “will bolster a strong program that spans studies of China’s history, literature, religion, art history, politics, economics, law and public health,” the university said in its announcement. It said part of the gift will go toward an endowment “that will help U-M engage new faculty and students, and the broader U-M community, in China-related activities.”
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